Bremen depleted for Inter clash

Claudio Pizarro, Clemens Fritz and Torsten Frings have all been

ruled out of the match at the San Siro and Schaaf admits the

already difficult task of beating the cup holders has been made

even harder. “These injuries hit us hard,” he said on the eve of

the game. “In view of our upcoming challenges, these losses mean a

drop in quality for the team.” The trio are not only doubtful for

tomorrow, but also the Bundesliga clash with Bayer Leverkusen at

the weekend. “We hope that all three get back as soon as possible,

but there is the risk that they will miss the next two games,”

added Schaaf. Their loss is just the latest setback in what has

been a difficult start to the season for the northern Germany side.

Sunday’s derby triumph over Hamburg was only their second win of

the season while they drew their Champions League opener against

Tottenham. But tomorrow’s match is arguably the toughest in their

group. “Inter are the clear favourites and it is impressive what

this team is capable of,” he said. Schaaf can however welcome Petri

Pasanen back into his defence after he missed the derby with

Hamburg due to injury. Inter boss Rafael Benitez is wary of Werder

despite their mixed form. He said: “Werder Bremen are a team with a

strong mentality and experience, it will certainly be a difficult

game. “I don’t know the Werder Bremen coach personally but I do

know that he has experience and quality. “Every team in the group

drew their first match, so everyone wants to win now. There’s more

pressure than before. However, we have the belief that we can win.”

Benitez has question marks over forwards Diego Milito – the scorer

of both goals in last season’s final win over Bayern Munich – and

Goran Pandev. “We will see tomorrow when we do another training

session,” said Benitez when asked whether the pair would be fit.

Returning to the squad for tomorrow’s clash is Brazilian midfielder

Mancini. “He’s an experienced player, it’s important for him and us

that he has a chance to play,” said former Liverpool boss Benitez.